Published: 20:21, 07 January 2022
| Updated: 21:20, 07 January 2022
Council tax payers are likely to face an increase in the amount of money they pay for policing Kent and Medway.
Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott has launched a budget he says will “make the force fit for the future and protect the service residents of Kent say they want”.
Political editor Paul Francis and PCC Matthew Scott on the proposed rise in the police portion of council tax
But it will mean residents having to pay £10 a year more and will see savings of £8 million.
As part of the budget, Kent will receive £230.5m from central government, but in real terms this is still a decrease of 16.6% since 2010/11.
To cover some of that shortfall, the Commissioner is proposing to increase the local council tax police precept by 84p per month, or £10 a year for a Band D property.
Police officer numbers have risen by 788 since 2016.
Kent will soon have 3,970 officers, with a further 185 to be recruited by March 2023.
Mr Scott said he had been forced to make hard decisions.
“If the first phase of my plan was to rebuild, the next phase is to make the Force fit for the future," he declared.
"I’m proud to have delivered an additional 788 police officers to Kent and I’m asking for your support to help us grow and invest further.”
The spending plans will fund the extra police officers and the support required to deliver the aim.
Investment will begin in police stations in Maidstone, Sittingbourne, Folkestone, Tonbridge, as well as further spending in Ashford.
The budget will be voted on by the Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel early next month.